Buffon lauds Ronaldo and Higuain for inspiring Juventus to victory

Gianluigi Buffon lauded Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain, who struck the goals that led Juventus to a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Gonzalo Higuain during Juventus' 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon praised Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain for leading by example in Juventus' 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Juve already had top spot in Group D wrapped up ahead of their trip to Leverkusen, which needed to avoid defeat to have any chance of advancing to the last 16.

Peter Bosz's side had the best of the chances in the first half but Ronaldo tapped home from Paulo Dybala's cross in the 75th minute and Higuain drilled into the bottom-right corner in stoppage time to send the host into the Europa League.

RELATED| Ronaldo, Higuain on target for Juve as Leverkusen heads to Europa

Buffon praised Ronaldo and Higuain, telling Sky Sport Italia: "If we face the games this way, I am sure we can all do great things. However, if we approach matches with a sense of snobbery, that becomes a problem."

"It's a bad sign if you don't go into games with the right determination if you are 20, let alone in your 40s.

"I am glad that we had examples like Higuain and Ronaldo to lead the way in their performance, work ethic and show of sacrifice for the team."

RELATED| Champions League debutant Atalanta beats Shakhtar to reach last 16

Despite taking just one point from its first four games in Group C, Atalanta booked its place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 3-0 win away at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

"I want to take this chance to congratulate Napoli and above all Atalanta, because seeing what they are achieving is honestly emotional," Buffon added.

"I messaged [coach Gian Piero] Gasperini after the first couple of games and told him to believe, because they are the kind of team who can beat anyone. They can lose to anyone, but on their day, they can beat anyone.

"I am so happy they qualified and it's a wonderful story."

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